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Of scars

Tania asked during my recent attempt at a Q&A session: [What] interesting scars [do you have] and how you got them?

I don’t have much to flaunt in this regard, to be honest. I am only aware of two scars on my entire body, both of which were acquired by the time I was barely three years old.

The faint scar crossing my lips at a broken angle is a memory from my very first birthday. As told by my parents, of course, since I have no independent recollection of the occasion. I just learned to walk and was navigating with gusto the living room full of adults. You have to understand that we at the time lived in a two-bedroom apartment with a total square footage of roughly 325. In that space, there lived my parents, my grandparents, my last then-surviving great-grandmother, my aunt, and the little me. 7 people, plus all the furniture! But my birthday warranted invitations for a number of family friends, so there must have been more than that number of people in the limited space.

Not only was I able to walk on that occasion, but I already discovered the joys of running. And when the door-bell rang announcing a new guest, I motored towards the front door. Tripped on something. Hit the pedals of the piano face-first. Blood splattered, my cry must have been heard across town, and the rest of the grand occasion was spent at the office of whatever emergency physician my Grandfather – a well-connected doctor himself – got to fix me up.

It’s possible that I never learned to play piano because of that accident. I must have always subconsciously harbored considerable enmity towards the instrument. I do love when others play it, though.

The second scar is on the ring finger of my left hand, courtesy of another memorable occasion – my aunt’s wedding. According to adult witnesses, I peacefully slept right next to the blaring speakers through most of the proceedings, and was eventually bundled into a car (whether it was to get home or for a change of venues, I have no recollection). The car door closed on my hand, slicing a piece of skin off a finger. I’m sure I again raised the entire town with my cries…

Surprisingly, I managed to go through uncounted birthdays, weddings, anniversaries and such without further mutilating myself in the years since. The non-partying rest of my life was even gentler to me in terms of avoiding leaving physical scars on my person.


  1. mama

    For the first occasion you more or less right: me and Grandmother assigned Grandfather to sit with you before piano and entertain you by performing chizhik-pyzhik, or other not so complicated music composition, while we were very busy to prepare for your birthday party (in our time
    we did not celebrate such event in restaurant). You jumped from the chair so quickly that poor Grandfather did not have any chance to catch you
    before you fell. I was afraid he would have heart attack with all the crying, blood and guilty feeling.
    The second event happened in the afternoon, when cavalcade of cars arrived to municipal offices to perform marriage registration. I was in charge as older sister (but not witness). The car was over-packed, I was very nervous with all that activities (never have before marry my only sister), and when everybody got out, I by my own hands closed the door and not noticed that you put your small hand between the door and frame. It passed more than 35 years, but my stomach still go in knots and my blood go cold when I remember this. Thank god, it was partly softened by rubber isolation.
    After everybody hugged you, kissed you and tried to calm you, and we realized that fingers not broken, we go for registration, then to celebrate to restaurant where you peacefully slept on two combined armchairs under the roar of the music band.

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